Neighbors use hoses to help douse burning landscaping, vinyl fence

ST. GEORGE — A fire in a residential area of St. George was extinguished Thursday morning before it could spread to any nearby homes or structures.

Neighbor Shane Swensen happened to see the smoke from his front porch and drove over to investigate.

“That’s when we saw it on Crystal Drive,” he said. “I stopped the car, took the video and then went and started kicking out the pine needles.”

See video from Swensen in the media player at the top of this report

Swensen said two others were already working to put out the fire before firefighters arrived.

“There was a renter in the one home and somebody else with them, and they each had a hose on it from either side and knocked it down.”

St. George Fire Capt. Brett Remund, whose crew in Engine 28 responded to the call shortly before 8 a.m., confirmed that the fire was mostly out by the time they arrived.

Still image from a video of a landscaping fire on Crystal Drive taken by a neighbor, St. George, Utah. Aug. 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Shane Swensen, St. George News

“The citizens really did 95% of the work,” Remund told St. George News. “They put most of it out before we even got there”

Remund added that the fire started in some weeds near the sidewalk and progressed up into the landscaping.

“It did damage about 15 feet of vinyl fence. Beyond that, there was no extension into any structures, just landscaping damage.”

As for the cause of the fire, Swensen offered what he jokingly called his “unprofessional opinion” and speculated that it may have been sparked by passing vehicle, a skateboard or a possibly a piece of broken tile found on the pavement.

“It started in the very dry grass by the sidewalk and then it started getting right up to the vinyl fence and a few shrubs,” he said. “It got one creosote bush going really good and completely destroyed it.  That’s probably where most of the smoke was from – that and the PVC fence.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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